NASHVILLE, TN -- Mark Giordano is taking advantage of the All-Star Break.
Even though he's playing.
The Calgary Flames captain decided to make it a family affair in Nashville this weekend, rolling into Music City on Thursday, accompanied by his wife, Lauren, his two-year-old son, Jack and his parents.
The Giordano's are excited to take in the sights and sounds of Nashville.
"It’s a great city whether it be going out to eat or going down and checking out some live music and fans and stuff," said Giordano. "It’s just a great place and every time we come here we enjoy it. It will be cool this time. A lot of activities for friends and families too that are here so they will enjoy it and have a good time."
Soon to be three-years-old, his son, Giordano thinks, will enjoy the hockey aspect and watching his dad take part.
"He understands and it’s awesome," Giordano said. "He’s almost three now so he really enjoys coming to watch games in Calgary and this weekend is going to be pretty special to see his reaction."
Giordano makes his second NHL All-Star appearance after taking part in last years' festivities in Columbus alongside teammate Johnny Gaudreau.
The 32-year-old blueliner is looking forward to the new 3-on-3 format and thinks it will offer the fans a lot of entertainment.
"It’s going to be different. I think it will be a little more wide-open than our regular season game, Giordano said. "I think I’m going to enjoy it; I think a lot of other players will too. I think it’s a good change for the league and it’s going to be more exciting for the fans, too."
The format will see the NHL's four divisions make up teams that will compete in a tournament Sunday with games being 20-minutes in length. the Pacific Division features the Flames duo and Giordano says they may have a bit of a chip on their shoulder for the event.
"With the way things have gone this year with our division and everyone calling it the worst division in hockey, I think maybe us as a group we will try and stick it to them a little bit," Giordano stated. "At the end of the day I think guys will want to win and come out in the end. I think the new format is good for that for sure."
Every team is loaded with top-end talent but Giordano isn't about to predict which division boasts the best or worst team.
"I’ve looked at most of them but I don’t know how you can call someone the favourite or underdog at this point," he said. "There’s so much great talent here, obviously. Maybe it will come down to coaching at the end and it will put some pressure on the coaches."
Traditionally, the All-Star Game lacks intensity with players' first priority avoiding injury. A new twist in this years' event should makes things more interesting with a $1-million-dollar prize awarded to the winning team.
"Hopefully it brings out that competitive attitude between the players and hopefully at the end of the day it’s more exciting for the fans – that’s what this weekend is all about," Giordano said. "I’m looking forward to it. It’s division versus division, it’s kind of a cool setup. We’ll see how it plays out but I think it’s better for sure."
With two All-Star selections under his belt, Giordano thinks some of his Flames' teammates will likely be considered for the honour in future years.
"I think Sean Monahan is a great two-way player in the game -- an up-and-comer for sure and I think he’ll play in a lot of All Star games before his career is over.," he said. "I’m looking forward to watching in the future, watching him and Johnny play together in an All-Star Game. I think it’s going to happen.
"The guy, and I’ve said it before, the guys who should be here is [TJ] Brodie. TJ Brodie should be here. With the new format and the different number of guys coming, it’s tough but he can definitely be here sitting in the spot where I am for sure. He’s been great all year."